Spector brought the Topman 24 tour to a close last night in Manchester (March 19) – with a raucous show that saw the band air a wealth of new material.
Taking to the stage of the 200-capacity Soup Kitchen at 11pm, the band previewed seven songs from their as-yet-untitled forthcoming second album, the follow-up to their 2012 debut ‘Enjoy It While It Lasts’.
Opening with the pulsing synths and vocoder effects of ‘Lately It’s You (Moth Boys)’, Spector’s 35-minute set showcased a more synth-driven direction for the London band. Before launching into ‘Don’t Make Me Try’ – the lead single and the first of a clutch of Dev Hynes-produced tracks played – frontman Fred Macpherson tossed out drink tokens into the audience, sending the front rows scrambling. After a fevered reception to ‘Decade Of Decay’ and ‘Celestine’, he said: “We’re going to play some new songs now so there’s a chance not to fall over and get crushed.”
‘Stay High’ followed, with its shimmering Chic-esque guitars and chorus of “Stay high/you know tomorrow is a lie/and maybe so are you and I“. The low-slung groove of ‘(Cocktail Party)’, meanwhile, recalled both the new romantic era of Duran Duran and Dev Hynes’ own work as Blood Orange, and saw Macpherson croon: “I can’t keep up with all the drugs you’re taking/I wish I could“.
Following the amicable departure of guitarist Chris Burman in 2013, there has been a rejig of personnel for these intimate shows. Johan from Lyon is the band’s new touring drummer, replacing original time-keeper Danny Blandy, who has moved to keyboards.
The night culminated in a rabble-rousing two-pronged attack of ‘Chevy Thunder’ and ‘Never Fade Away’, but the biggest reaction was saved for ‘All The Sad Young Men’, where Macpherson jumped into the baying throng to crowd-surf.
The gig was the conclusion of a series of live shows that come as part of 24-hour takeovers of four major UK cities. Spector were supported on the bill by Superfood, who caused moshing with a setlist that included ‘You Can Believe’, ‘Bubbles’ and ‘Superfood’.
‘Lately It’s You (Moth Boys)’
‘Don’t Make Me Try’
‘Decade of Decay’
‘Never Fade Away’
‘All The Sad Young Men’